Consider Me Unimpressed: Chanel Les Ombre Eye Makeup No.33 in Prelude

I haven’t written about Chanel’s eye quads before and it’s not coincidental. My first purchase was the Quartuor Boutons de Chanel and that one was not only unimpressive, it was disappointing. Colours were sheer and powdery, and translates to nothing on my lids. I decided not to be so skeptical and gave Chanel eye quads another go. The rest of the world get the baked version while the US gets (from what I’ve read) the more pigmented version. Go figure.





I bought this about 2 years back. I decided to get this because it’s a fool proof palette that suits all skin tones. There are 4 shades which mimic light and shadow, and it’s easy to use. There’s a light ivory beige, a light beige taupe, a taupe and a dark greyish brown. They are mostly matte. What I like to do is to use the light beige taupe (bottom left) all over my lids and the taupe (top left) to blend around my eye socket. The darkest colour (bottom right) is used as a liner and the lightest (top right) is to highlight the brow bone and the inner corner of my eyes. Easy!

This baked formula is powdery and lacks pigmentation unless you use it wet. I for one, hate using my eye shadows wet. Unlike the Dior monos and the Estee Lauder Gelee eye shadows, this one does harden after it dries. So blah! If you only want to enhance your eye shape with a “is it there or not makeup”, then this is for you. If you love darker makeup and don’t mind using your eye shadows wet, this will work too.


prelude2 swatch


Picture above shows swatches on my bare arm, 3 swipes using my fingers. While I do like this for a barely there more defined eye, the colours are common and easily dupable. I am less than impressed with Chanel’s baked version of eye palettes, and this was my second and last purchase. I am one for more pigment and hassle free makeup. If I need to work it, then it’s not worth it. I accept that baked formulas might be sheerer, but hey, if I don’t like it, then it just means the formula is not for me, hence, no more.

I’d like to see more pigmented versions of eye palettes coming out in Asia, and fingers crossed, that Chanel Holiday 2013 Ombres Matelassées eye palette has my definition of better quality. Here’s to buttery smooth texture and awesome pigmentation. Cheers!


xoxo Lily



  • Yeah I hate them too. I never buy them anymore. They SUCK. 🙂

    • My entire post, all summed up here. LOL!

      • BooBooNinja

        Lily and Tracy, thanks for saving me time and money.

        • You’re very welcome <3 Then again, you never know. You might like it? LOL!

          • i’m in agreement! I loved chanel a few years ago… (FIVE??!) but now i’m like EHHHHH. there’s not much i really love from the brand anymore!!

            • I’m with you Joyce. There are some Chanel makeup that I find attractive, but in general, I think it’s just plain overrated and over-hyped.

  • i agree the Asian/European version is so much different! i own two of them and I find they look a lot prettier when used with creamy dark base colors. it is about how they are manufactured – baked! i heard Bourjois eyeshadows are good alternatives since they are made from the same manufacturer (or something..) 😉

    • I read somewhere that Bourjois actually owns Chanel?

  • Ahhh no good 🙁 Still hoping Chanel will replace this two-version business with the formula of Harmonie du Soir. Now that would make me want every Chanel quad ever made!

    • I know right? I swatched the Harmonie du Soir palette and thought THIS is what it’s supposed to be! Ah, but you know, anyone who can stuff up an ad with Brad Pitt on it can stuff up anything 😛

  • Oh this is annoying! This quad is so perfectly pretty! I don’t like to have to wet eye shadows either, it’s an extra step in the morning and who needs that? 🙁

    • You’re totally right. I’m already rushing in the morning, no need for more hassle.

  • Liz

    I used to avoid baked formula like the plague but now… kind of depends. I love these shades though, all together in one pan. It is a bummer when the expectations are much higher. I don’t understand why we can’t all have the same release internationally. >:[

    • In all fairness, I do like the colour family and that’s also the reason I picked it up. I just have a huge problem with the formula. I’ve been using it more, just as a wash, expecting much less from it now. Don’t even get me started on the different formula >.<

  • Oh I almost bought this one once! I don’t own any of these quads but was planning on getting one soon. Thanks for the small warning. I didn’t even know these differed so much between the US & the rest of the world! And they’re made in the same country.. So weird!

    • HAHA! Yeah… if you don’t mind the pigmentation, you might like it. I also don’t like how my brushes kick up the powder, making the whole palette messy. Against the black case, all those powders look even messier. LOL!

  • I don’t like these at all, lol. I bought one for my mom – don’t remember what formula it is, it’s a quad – and she said she likes it, but she doesn’t LOVE it…so no more Chanel eye shadow, lol!

    • We’re on the same page, Larie. Many of us are 🙂

  • Yvonne

    I remember a video done by Wayne Goss about going head to head with Chanel regarding the differences between US and the rest of the world.. and there wasn’t a conclusion I believe.
    Thank goodness I never caved to buying these quads, even though they look so pretty. When I first saw the swatches on your arm, I was like ‘Oh, not that bad..’ till I saw: 3 swipes?! Eek. A definite no.

    • Oh, I haven’t seen that video. I should search for it. The colours are beautiful, the idea is there, but lacks a lot during execution. It’s a bigger let down when I can see so much potential. LOL!

  • I’m still baffled why Chanel still keeps making the bakes versions when everyone (more or less) find them so utterly underwhelming.. They have a killer formula they already produce, they should just use that one globally.. Until that day comes I’m not even looking at their offerings!! Great honest review! Thanks for that! 🙂 x

    • You’re welcome, Ellie and thanks for stopping by. I do wonder why The US is not getting the baked version too. A mystery we can only speculate!

  • I’ve had this Prelude quad (I loved the name and the colours) and some other Chanel quad and I don’t have them anymore because the quality was so bad I thought it was a disgrace that a brand such as Chanel was selling them. Ofcourse I also had the round European versions…

    • I like that name too, because it reminds me of my favourite pieces in Bach’s Preludes and Fugues… but you know, name aside, this palette is only passable. I wouldn’t fail it, but I guess I’d give it a borderline pass.

  • This is literally one of my fave blogs now. I love everything about it!!!

    I’ve used Chanel’s eyeshadows since my sister has that quad. I love using the Champagne colors as a base…esp. with shimmer because it adds a whole different look. Too bad cause it’s so pricey, otherwise I’d start collecting all the colors!

    • Thanks Hunni and well, I’m glad you like this quad. I mean, someone has to like it, or Chanel would have to discontinue the whole line. LOL! It is pricey for the quality, so we’re probably paying for the brand name. That’s the skeptical me talking. LOL!

  • LOU

    I tried a Chanel pallette years ago, and felt exactly like you do now. Overpriced!

    • Hi Lou, I’d rather use that money on my Dior quints…. or maybe save some money and use it on Urban Decay. Haha!